With the way the electoral map has shaken out and the way the Palin selection has been received would a Tom Ridge choice by McCain for VP have been a master stroke that could have delivered the election for McCain?*
Palin has energized a certain segment of the Republican base and created a lot of buzz and gave a big bump immediately following the RNC but I think most analysts an pundits would agree that she has been polarizing at best for the GOP and has up to this point cause more harm than good for McCain’s ticket.
Just about every news program is pinning McCain’s hopes on his winning Pennsylvania against long odds and with it’s 21 electoral votes it would be a huge get, and he’s been forced to dump huge amounts of resources and time into it in the final weeks. Would having Tom Ridge on the ticket have locked up Pennsylvania for McCain? If not, I think it’s safe to say that it would have made it a much closer race if a Pennsylvanian were on the ticket and one heartbeat away from the Presidency.
Also, McCain was heavily campaigning on the notion that he was the better choice for National Security and for handling the war on terror and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. By selecting Palin he took attention off of that and essentially undermined his own argument and promise that his VP choice would be the one best suited to making the US safe and secure. Ridge’s former position as Secretary of Homeland Security would have given the credentials to contest Biden’s position as the foreign policy honk and security expert.
Ridge has significantly more experience than Palin and would have probably assuaged much of the fear that he could be forced to succeed McCain in office. He’s a fairly centrist Republican (I think, could be wrong there) and would have helped the McCain ticket to label itself as a across-the-aisle ticket and one that would bring the GOP back towards the center.
What do you think, would Obama have been in trouble with a McCain-Ridge ticket? Has Palin’s impact been actually as negative overall for McCain as it appears on it’s face? If so, would Ridge have at least been neutral on that point if not a boost? Would Ridge have easily delivered Pennsylvania? Would that have turned the election?
- I realize that the election is by no means a done deal at this point 24 hours out, but lets just assume the polls are correct so far and that everything holds to farm. Go vote Obama!